Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The impacts of warming and nitrogen addition on competitive ability of native and invasive populations of Plantago virginica.

Abstract

Aims: Global change factors (e.g. warming and nitrogen deposition) may influence biological invasions, but how these factors may influence the performance of invasive species and further mediate the interactions with native competitors remain still unknown. Methods: Here, we conducted a 5-month greenhouse experiment to examine the effects of warming (using open-top chambers, +0.62°C) and N addition (adding NH4NO3 at a rate of 4.2 g m-2) on the performance of the native and invasive populations of an invasive species Plantago virginica in competition with a native Plantago asiatica. Important Findings: Under warming treatment and its interaction with nitrogen addition treatment (W × N), invasive and native populations of P. virginica had different biomass allocation strategies to compete with native competitor P. asiatica. Native population of P. virginica (PV-Na) increased more below-ground biomass, whereas those from the invasive population (PV-In) increased more above-ground biomass. We also found that invasive species P. virginica had stronger responses to warming and N addition than the native species P. asiatica. The competitive ability of the invasive plants was significantly reduced by warming which indicated that the invasive plant were much stronger sensitivity to elevated temperature than native plant. Similarly, N addition and W × N reduced the competitive response of PV-In in below-ground biomass, but increased the competitive response of PV-Na in above-ground and total biomass when they grew with the P. asiatica. The results show that P. virginica have occurred differential biomass allocation strategies during its invasions and invasive population exhibit flexible competition ability to adapt to environmental changes (especially warming). These findings may potentially help to predict plant invasions and make management strategies in a world with changing climate.